Lewis Hamilton And Mercedes Do The Double, Wins Just Another Grand Prix

2019 Chinese Grand Prix Hamilton in the lead dailycarblog.com

Mercedes dominated the Chinese Grand Prix to earn a 1-2 finish with Lewis Hamilton securing victory from the jaws of self-doubt. Hamilton had seemed at odds for most of the weekend as he tried to get to grips with his Mercedes. He did during qualifying but was beaten to pole by teammate Valtteri Bottas by a slender margin. However, the Mercedes were unexpectedly fast around the Chinese track, perhaps getting the best out the tyres.

By comparison, Ferrari was some margin off the top qualifying pace and could not get near the Mercedes duo on Saturday. Indeed Red Bull looked more like a threat to Ferrari than Ferrari did to Mercedes.

2019 Chinese Grand Prix dailycarblog.com

But come the race day Mercedes used their track specific advantage and two stops to secure a relatively easy double podium. Hamilton made an excellent start from second and jumped Bottas to take the lead into the first corner.

From there, Hamilton steadily built up a small lead and held he did unto the end.

Bottas was unable to beat Hamilton who retained a narrow but comfortable margin for much of the race. It didn’t go quite to plan for the Torro Rosso of Kvyatt who caused a collision with both McLarens on lap 1.

https://twitter.com/F1/status/1117339009787863042

All three would later retire as a result of underlying damage caused by Kvyatts clumsy decision making.

As for Ferrari, they tried but failed to beat the Mercedes despite having the more powerful car. Tension was raised after Ferrari instructed Leclerc (who jumped Vettel for third at the start) to let his team mate through. Leclerc wasn’t happy especially so when it became clear the switch didn’t make any difference. And especially so that his race had been comprised as a result.

The Red Bulls were expected to keep Ferrari honest but actually dropped back. Verstappen fought bravely for a lonely 4th. He was briefly ahead of Vettel after the first round of pit stops but Vettel fought back cannily to claim third overall.

So, three races in and Mercedes have claimed three wins and three double podiums. It’s against the run of pre-season testing and confounding at the same time because Ferrari have what many consider to be the best car on the grid.

2019 Chinese Grand Prix trophy dailycarblog.com

However, the 2019 season is all about who can extract the best efficiency out of the tyre compounds. Ferrari did so at Bahrain but failed to win because of engine issues. It seems Mercedes has learned how to best manage the tyres for at least two out of three races.

2019 Chinese Grand Prix Results:

144 Lewis Hamilton Mercedes561:32:06.35025
277 Valtteri Bottas Mercedes56+6.552s18
35 Sebastian Vettel Ferrari56+13.744s15
433 Max Verstappen Red Bull Racing Honda56+27.627s12
516 Charles Leclerc Ferrari56+31.276s10
610 Pierre Gasly Red Bull Racing Honda56+89.307s9
73 Daniel Ricciardo Renault55+1 lap6
811 Sergio Perez Racing Point BWT Mercedes55+1 lap4
97 Kimi Räikkönen Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari55+1 lap2
1023 Alexander Albon Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda55+1 lap1
118 Romain Grosjean Haas Ferrari55+1 lap0
1218 Lance Stroll Racing Point BWT Mercedes55+1 lap0
1320 Kevin Magnussen Haas Ferrari55+1 lap0
1455 Carlos Sainz McLaren Renault55+1 lap0
1599 Antonio Giovinazzi Alfa Romeo Racing Ferrari55+1 lap0
1663 George Russell Williams Mercedes54+2 laps0
1788 Robert Kubica Williams Mercedes54+2 laps0
184 Lando Norris McLaren Renault50DNF0
NC26 Daniil Kvyat Scuderia Toro Rosso Honda41DNF0
NC27 Nico Hulkenberg Renault16DNF0

Note – Gasly scored an additional point for setting the fastest lap of the race. Albon started the race from the pit lane.

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